Yngwie Malmsteen spoke to Artisan News about the Guitar Gods tour, which kicked off June 12 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The trek features Malmsteen alongside Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal of GUNS N' ROSES and Gary Hoey.
"This was my wife's idea. 100 percent her idea," he said (see video below). "She came up with it. And I thought, 'Yeah. Why not? It's great.' And then we went through the process of picking out who was gonna be on the tour, and there were literally hundreds of people who wanted to be on the tour. So, yeah, here we are."
Malmsteen also spoke about the preparation for the Guitar Gods tour and the trek's kick-off show. "There is very extensive pre-production," he said. "It's a big machine that has to be put in motion.
"For a first night, the Wilkes-Barre concert was really good, and I think tonight's show at Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York gonna be great. And we'll tweak it as we go along. But I think that the energy is there, and that's all that matters, really. If there are a couple of technical problems here and there, they're less important if the energy and the enthusiasm is there."
He added: "I'm not gonna do the same setlist tonight that I did last night. I'm not gonna do the same setlist tomorrow night that I'm doing tonight. So I never do the same thing. Never."
Malmsteen revealed to Highway 81 Revisited that he is currently mixing a live album and DVD recorded at back-to-back shows in Tampa and Orlando. According to Yngwie, it'll be released in August and will probably be called "Spellbound Live". He told CitizensVoice.com about the live album and DVD: "That's a perfect example of how when I play, it's always different. Because one's from Tampa and one's from Orlando, and it's completely different."
On the topic of "Relentless", the memoir he published last year, Malmsteen said: "I felt that I had to put this on paper from the only perspective from which it could be told, which is my perspective. I'm talking about walking in the snow when I'm seven years old and wondering what the fuck am I doing here, why am I born in this fucking place? And now of course I'm looking at palm trees, so now I'm remedying that; I'm still thawing out. But the thing is, it has to be read to understand where I'm coming from."
He added: "It's not just all the chicks — it was that too, you know the rock 'n' roll thing? I did all that fucking shit. Trust me. I'm a very different person now. I don't touch alcohol, I don't touch cigarettes, I don't touch drugs. I'm a very clean-living person for the last 10 years, maybe more now. I just felt it had to be told. It's so different from where I started. When I looked back, I said, fuck, that was me? It's very therapeutic as well."
Check out this fan footage from the opening night